to web design software I don't recommend DreamWeaver as an introduction. It has a fairly steep learning curve, and many people find it a little daunting.
FrontPage is probably a good deal easier at first, although it's every bit as powerful as DreamWeaver when you get under the surface - it offers the best of both worlds in a way.
A real alternative is NetObjects Fusion. It's friendly enough for someone with no experience of web design, and powerful enough for when you gain a bit more confidence.